Visiting an inmate in jail can be a time consuming affair. Things don’t happen fast in prisons. One particular inmate I used to visit was in a place where I had to park in a parking garage; .50 cents up to one hour, $1.25 if you are in there 61 minutes. I noticed that most of my conversations with this person were ending about the time my parking fee was more than doubling. Week after week I was rolling through the pay station at 1, 2, or 4 minutes beyond the hour limit and having to pony up another .75 cents. So I adjusted my internal clock, in fact I started wearing a watch just so I could keep up with the time better. Then I started driving conversations to a close with enough time to get me out of the garage ‘on time.’ I wasn’t rude to the inmate and I didn’t make things come to an abrupt halt; I just did a little internal clockwork. It took me about three months of weekly visits to come to this thought: you can’t run a real relationship on a clock. Authentic relationships have never grown on a schedule and they never will. If you are counting the minutes, hours or days in a relationship and calculating their worth or their cost you have somehow departed from the real thing. There is a timelessness in real relationships that has the aroma of eternity, and even the smallest child knows that smell.